Shiekh Al Ahmed issues a fatwa

Shiekh Al Ahmed is no stranger to the issuance of anti-women fatwas. He has made it his personal mission to be responsible for every single Saudi female. He first came on my radar when he went on TV asking that the Makkah Mosque surrounding the Ka’aba be torn down and rebuilt so that there would be complete segregation between the sexes when Muslims visit the mosque for any reason including the annual pilgrimage, Hajj. Another incident is when he took a group of muttawas to the Ministry of Education to ensure that their new policy of allowing boys to enroll in girls’ schools until third grade would be stopped.

Now Shiekh Al Ahmed has a new mission, and you got to admire him for the bold move at least. In direct opposition to the King’s new legislation that no fatwas be made public unless issued or at least pre-approved by members of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, Sheikh Al Ahmed issued two fatwas on TV. And of course he didn’t disappoint, they were about women. His new pet project is to sabotage HyperPanda Supermarket‘s initiative to employ women cashiers. So he said on a program in reply to a caller that first of all it is haram (Sharia prohibited) in Islam for women to work as cashiers in places where men can be customers and secondly he said that it is not only Jaiz (Sharia acceptable) to boycott the supermarket but also mustahib (Sharia advisable).

The project has started on an experimental basis in Jeddah where currently 16 women are cashiers. If found successful, it will be expanded to absorb 2500 women cashiers all across Saudi Arabia. The application conditions for women according to Arab News are that they be Saudi, above 28 years of age, have a financial need, be a widow or divorced and stick to a dress code.

Shiekh Al Ahmed is calling on all ultra-conservatives to boycott HyperPanda and informed the PVPV that it is their right to file a lawsuit against them. He is arrogantly confident in his followers and the power they have that he says let’s give them a five day warning before we start the boycott. He says that he had called an executive from HyperPanda and found him to be stubborn and insistent in proceeding with employing women. He claims that their insistence is a sign that it is most likely an American supported and plotted scheme to westernize the country. However, my favorite part  is when he says that ultra-conservatives from neighboring countries, like Syria, Egypt and Yemen, call him up to show their support and advise him not to allow what happened to their countries happen to Saudi Arabia.

I keep telling people that the more Saudi Arabia opens up especially when it comes to women’s rights, the more Islamic fundamentalist groups worldwide will too. It will have a dominoes effect on their approach and lifestyle. Because so many of these fundamentalists look to Saudi Arabia as the prime example as to how life should be lived. That’s why I’m going to do my part by supporting HyperPanda’s initiative. Although I’m a Carrefour regular since they are literally five minutes away, I will go the extra distance to buy my groceries from HyperPanda. I hope that others will do the same.

154 Comments

Filed under Fatwas, Gender Apartheid, Popular, Women campaigns

154 responses to “Shiekh Al Ahmed issues a fatwa

  1. A'idah

    This sort of thing is always mind-boggling! What do these men get out of keeping women imprisoned and claiming men are beasts who cannot control themselves around women, veiled or not?

    Does this man have nothing on his mind but sex? Why does he not have productive work to do that will absorb some of his “passions”?

    Why are these perverted-cretins not able to comprehend that the other four-fifths of humanity, the majority of people on the planet and its men have no problem with working along side women — women who are dressed normally and not in some sort of shroud?

    I watched a YouTube video the other day of one of these sex-obessed imams railing, literally screeching like some bird of prey about how in France women are raped on the streets and people simply walk by. How in the West “no woman can ever go out on the streets alone, especially at night.” Women must be “covered” the imam claimed because “men are made like that, they can’t control themselves.”

    Where do they get these crazy lies?

    It is lunacy!

    What is wrong with these men? From where do such ideas come—Islam or the Arab tribal culture?

    Either way, it’s just NUTS!

    • Alicia

      I think he gets his crazy ideas from testosterone. My Christian brother has the same crazy thinking. He is so angry that I handle the finances in my family, and do most of the driving, it is just silly.
      While I believe women and men should dress appropriately and avoid unnecessary mixing, I have to wonder at the intellect of these Sheiks that have to invent stories about the West in order to back up their views. I guess they don’t focus very well when they come to the ayat about not sinning against reason.
      I’ve been arguing lately that men should stay home and women should work because most work outside the home is now suited for women, teaching, nursing, business etc. and most work in the home is better suited for men, construction, plumbing, fixing machinery etc. : ) It also solves that can’t control their lust part!

    • ali

      Here is what he should be given: Provide , IMPLEMENT a 100% successful solution to poverty and unemployment. Also, removal of “Haram relationships” by getting EVERY man and woman that wants to marry ..MARRIED. If he is unable to do so.. then he should apologize on TV for being unrealistic.. It is easy to DECLARE… it the DOING that defines the man.

  2. Tribal culture ..

    The funniest thing in his Fatwa Issuance was when he used the life-old brick-wall argument. “Would you allow your mom or your daughter do? Only life disrespecting lowly men would do that”

    Well, I’m disrespectful and lowly .. now go ahead and behead me .. I truly hate this guy to the guts..

  3. i agree with A’idah and Amrush.

    I cant believe how, throughout the years, no-one saw how the “men are made like that” and “women must be protected” arguments can backfire on the morals of the entire society!

    I was about to say that him saying such things should be punishable by law, well, now it is. looking forward to seeing him do his country any good.

    P.S. sorry for the poorly constructed, really long sentences. he makes me so angry!

  4. ahh.. people never cease to amaze me.

    Now I don’t get why he isn’t simply cut off, banned from broadcasting, or arrested for openly defying the Kings order!

  5. Am I allowed to say I can’t stand a sheikh? Because I really can’t stand men like this.

  6. Also good for you for going the extra distance for hyperpanda. It will make a difference if everyone showed their support!

  7. This is what I am amazed about. Who will stop such people – they make fun of themselves and islam? If we go through the ahadith – we will see women in the times of the Prophet – fighting on the battlefield alonside with men, as well as carrying wounded men from such places… Today it is even not appropriate for them to sit behind the cashier nor excercise in the gym? I think I am becoming more rebelious after reading such fatwas – so maybe there is some good in them, haha.

    • ali

      We are all Muslims with different beliefs.. this is my conclusion. Do not compare the “GARBAGE” of today with those NOBLE men and women 1400 years ago. REAL MUSLIMS do not LIKE giving Fatwas.. it scares the HELL out of them. They LOVE God and HIS creation and fight to protect humanity. They do not have BIG BELLIES full of KAPSA.. doing nothing but coming up with “Milking” and “Cashier” fatwas. THey do REAL THINGS.

  8. Harsh Raval

    Hi

    As an expatriate who has lived in KSA for a very short time of 7 years with my family – I have very high regards about Saudi Arabia. KSA has everything – wondeful geography,excellent resources , talented people ( recently I came across a receptionist in a company who would sketch to kill time and his sketches were just WOW) … a little loosening up and KSA would be ideal to stay in.

    Why is it that each time a progress is made – some conservatives pull it back 10 steps ? … Hyperpanda is doing a great job by providing livelyhood to women who need it the most. I am not a muslim but based on my knowledge during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) ladies were free to work and grow in life.. .then why these restrictions on them now.

    I pray that almighty blesses KSA with progress and growth and save it from these so called upholders of chastity and religion… being a father of 2 daughters I understand the frustation in women here…

    Regards

    Hr.

  9. poppy

    Maybe he needs to be forced to live his life as a woman in misery for a month at least, as many widowed or divorced women do, with no money to support themselves or their children and all of the horrors that go with that forced situation. He would not be allowed to drive either as he would have to experience all of a Saudi woman’s deprivations.
    How would he like that situation? Would he survive?

  10. Hmmmm. He seems to be deficient in the charity to widows and orphans part of his faith.

    I like Carrefour myself, and know nothing of HyperPanda, but I am glad you will take this action, and I hope many others will do so too. Perhaps you could spread the action more widely through social networking media.

    Much to my shock, one of my most intelligent and pleasant Jewish colleagues organized a boycott on Palestine-Israel grounds. I made a point of “shoppng in the opposite direction”. I wasn’t the only one of course, and we prevailed.

    Even denting this type of manoeuvre chips away at the power of the fatwa and the person behind it.

  11. Alicia

    A grocery chain named “HyperPanda”? Hee.

    Seriously though, women are easy targets and too many men are cowards. What makes me crazy is how often men will take a stand against women (easy) but not for women (hard). When I read in the Quran then men are the protectors of women I read that it is their duty to stand up to the misogynists of the world in defense of women. The obedience a woman owe for this is to listen to the man who cares for her and not put him in a bad position vis-a-vis those who wish to harm her (and him!)(no Snookie-like behaviour!).

    What is ironic is the same men who argue that they cannot control their lust if they come within 500 feet of what they believe to be a woman, also argue that males must be in charge due to their superior intellect and self-control.

    Oh! I would love it if Hyperpanda just hired men and put them in a burqua! Which reminds of something I have never understood: why are women supposed to be covered to protect them yet they must be identifiable as women? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose (as Tash ma Tash has pointed out)?
    May Allah bless Saudi with a successful anti-boycott!

  12. samy

    i will boycott panda if this happens. Who can a woman work as a cashier with her abaya and niqab while men who are legally responsibal to spend can not find jobs. Panda should offer jobs to brothers and sons of these women and they will spend on them by fource of law and tradition even the women are millioners. I think there are no women with no relatives here in saudi arabia. we have big families and large number of relatives unlike some socities so we do not need to copy everything they have. If you want to imitate those socities then start with great qualities like free speech and do not get angry of alahmed because he has an opinion. I guess it is better to start with these things than women working as cashiers.

    • Leila

      But the women will spend their salary on their families as well. So why does it matter whether its male or female, jobs such as cashiers should not be determined according to gender in the first place. But since there is a huge demand of jobs by women and there is few of them in employment, this is a start. Why should divorced women and widows have to extend their hand to relatives. There are families who do not receive enough support from relatives and can barely make it.

    • Loveanthropology

      Learn how to write with proper English you woman hater.

      • Jessica

        Ouch! That doesn’t help the debate… it’s an accomplishment to know *any* second language at all. He has a good grasp of the language, even if you don’t like his opinions. And you’re into anthropology? Please, rethink your approach. These topics deserve more subtlety and understanding.

    • ali

      No.. all women do not have men in their families. I have a neighbor whose two sons are younger than 12.. and she has a daughter. Go ASK the STATE to provide for her. Can you?
      There are many such women.

  13. Leonard

    @aidah who said “What is wrong with these men?”

    Maybe he wasn’t breast fed?

    Some of ya’all talked bout putting the dude in a burka. Looks like he’s wearin half a one already, ‘xcept his is fancier than the black ones of the ladies. If he stays home to work, he could use them red and white checks for a spaghetti dinner table cloth.

    @alicia, honey, what is that u “believe women and men should dress appropriately and avoid unnecessary mixing”?

    I luv mixing with the ladies and my dude friends. Ther is nothing wrong with that. I do’nt even mind if the ugly ones are wearing a burka. course, if they fat, even the burqa can’t hide that.

    Maybe the dude shoudl buy himself a ranch with bunch of cows & sheep. They easier to control thn women. He trying to herd cats.

    • Alicia

      My past experience as a waitress and a bartender from the lowest dives to the high class taught me A LOT!!!
      I have no problem with men and women being in a social setting where they can talk. Actually I think it is needed. The idea that men and women should never mix is downright dangerous. I can’t see how any Sheik can claim to understand anything about women when he has never been exposed to any outside his own family. I would imagine it is part of the explanation of how they can see men as being to varied in opinion and ability but not women. As for appropriate attire, I am a teacher and I get tired of having to see up my student’s skirts and down their shirts (females) and the men’s pants are falling off so you can see their underwear or more……ugh. I think appropriate attire confers respect. What’s appropriate? There are certainly some variations, but the “essentials” should be covered and clothing should offer some modicum of dignity to the person and society s/he travels in without loosing functionality or posing an unnecessary risk to the wearer. Ie, my perfect vision of clothing, for most events, is the salwaar kameez! : )

  14. sf

    Some people just have alot of time in their hands that they are just out there to get women. Come on!!! The supermarket is actually helping these women who the society wouldn’t be able much. First of all, it encourages hard work, the women would go out their and earn money, support their families and be productive members of their society. Gah!!!

  15. Lady

    Thumbs up Ya Sheikh!

  16. Mouloud

    Saoudwoman Madam, you wear hijhab outside Saudi Arabia?

  17. Mouloud

    Saudiwoman Madam, you wear hijhab outside Saudi Arabia?

  18. Mouloud

    Saoudwoman , you wear hijhab outside Saudi Arabia?

  19. Chiara

    I honestly don’t get the point. I am trying hard to understand Saudi Arabia’s position on women, justify it, perhaps even trying a guilty person/nation/power/superpower/extrapower, anything but still cannot understand it . I may be a complete fool but somebody please explains me what the heck they get back by segregating women, refusing them the right to drive, move, travel, work in mixed environment. Does anybody have an answer? Because I still haven’t found it.

  20. Mouloud

    It has nothing to comprende if you’re not happy to live in Saudi Arabia and well nothing preventing him from leaving the country.

    • This is my country and I have just as much right to live here as anyone else. My family and my ancestors have not known any other land and I will do what I can to fight extremism.

      • asma

        we will not leave and we will not submit. we will live our rightful life as free human beings and when intimidated, we will protest. because we have pride and dignity. is that enough mou-loudmouth ?

  21. A'idah

    @Chiara-”what the heck they get back by segregating women, refusing them the right to drive, move, travel, work in mixed environment.”

    What they “get back” is feeling powerful over someone, since they have little power in their own lives that comes from productivity and accomplishments.

    I have read a number of articles in Gulf papers that stated the average working time for a Saudi and other Arabs is about 20 minutes to a couple of hours a day! They come in late, take numerous coffee breaks, then long lunches, do a little something in the afternoon, then go home. Then of course there are the multiple prayer breaks. It all adds up to not much work-time.

    Men who can’t be proud of their own productivity don’t want their women to outdo them. It is clear that Saudi women, in fact most Muslim women, seem to have much more ambition than the men who are imprisoning them. The only way Saudi society will ever come up in the world is for its women to be free and equal.

    • Chiara

      A’ idah, very good point!
      @Mouloud: have read all your comments. Think you should create your own blog dude. I would suggest you call it: the aphorism spot. think you would have loads of discussions: has the earth an elliptical orbit; is it true that the earth revolves around the sun. Everything in the form of aphorism (“if you don’t like the earth: move to Venus; If you don’t like that on this blog the sun revolves around the earth: leave this page, nobody invited u to join!). That would be a success for democratic thinking and -obviously- knowledge!

  22. Instead of sheikh-bashing, let’s look at how a female cashier might be regarded in Saudi Arabia. She will be exposed to any and every man who comes in off the street. Some customers will take advantage of her. Is cashiering the best job with which to increase women’s presence in the workforce?

    I’m not saying I support or don’t support this measure, but I wonder if it isn’t premature? Samy has a point, in that these jobs should go first to the men who are supposed to support the women.

    Women having to work outside the home is no liberation in any country, especially if their men are not employed. Some women actually desire to work, and they should be allowed to do so. I merely question the advisability of putting women in such a public position at this point in the Kingdom’s development.

    • But at least half of all these cashier jobs are performed by migrant workers who are imported here by these supermarkets while many local women sit at home at the mercy of the charities. Doesn’t it make sense that we first employ willing citizens before bringing people in from other countries?
      and women already work as receptionists at clinics and hospitals and apparently they are doing a good job because many of these posts are employed by women. And cashiers in a public place is just what we need to show every Saudi that women can do the job and respectfully. Saudi women already work selling stuff on the streets and pavements to save themselves from poverty. it’s a common sight all over Riyadh. Which is better, sitting on tiny rug by themselves on the sidewalk or being in a secure supermarket? They just want work and to be able to support themselves.

      • Jessica

        Saudiwoman, I’m reading your points and positions with interest. Why not follow up and interview some of these women down the road? I’d love to hear their thoughts on how their jobs are working out. It would be a valuable blog post, don’t you think?

        Regards….

      • ali

        Honestly? Women should FIRST be hired in LINGERIE areas, MAKE UP Areas/ SHOPS.. ALL female TAXIS should be organized and put on the roads.. FEMALE POLICE FORCE needs to be organized further.. Just doing this would get MANY women employed.

        I agree with SW about first hiring willing citizens and then bringing workers from other countries. Very logical. This should have been practiced a long time ago.

        And Saudi Woman, everything is “7alal” in Clinics and hospitals.. no one wants to mess with them..they DO have women cashiers there.

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  24. Yes, it makes better sense to employ a Saudi woman than a non-Saudi man. Yes, women are working in other semi-public positions at hospitals, and are getting along just fine.

    In Saudi women’s struggle for so-called equality, let them not end up having to expend too much of themselves on work, while nannies raise the children.

    Oh, I know, nannies raise children anyway, while women do not work, but when women get equal opportunity in the work force, it’s a slippery slope to enslavement of another sort.

    I’d hate to see Saudi women end up like their American sisters— having to work because their husbands’ salaries are no longer sufficient to support families because women have flooded the workforce and depressed salaries.

    Young Saudi feminists, take a lesson from those of us who lived through the first wave of Western feminism in the sixties and seventies. Instead of having the choice between working and being homemakers, we now have the necessity to do both.

    • That’s already the case here. to be middle class, most families are two-income. however the education sector is saturated with women. This initiative is not for equality as much as it is a helping hand to those in desperate need of a job.

    • Let’s take a look at the reality of life of some Saudi Women. Not all are blessed with generous mahrams to pay their expences. We have to take into consideration the fact, that there are women whose relatives not only do not take care after them, but also a b u s e them. There are women who feed their lazy sons who simply do not want to go and find work for 2000 SR per month. There are women who do not have mahrams to take care after them. There are women whose part of inheritance is taken by their brothers. There are women who have and want to work. Defying such a woman a right to work and serve other women and families (I assume single men should direct themselves to men’s cashiers in order to prevent female cashiers from any possible harm – btw – how can a men take adventage of a women sitting behind a cashier in a public place, where there is a lot of – I assume – honorable gentlemen around? ). Are women who work in hospitals taken advantage by their male patients or co-workers? Saudi Arabia has a lot of foreigners who work in places where Saudi men A N D women could find employment. And BTW: I often make shoppings in different hypermarkets without a mahram – as I have only one (ok: in sha Allah after 18 years my son will help me) and would have the opportunity to be served by a w o m e n at a cashier as well as in the lingerie shops. I have also to mention that I have never been harrassed by any men in Saudi Arabia (I’ve been here since 7 years). Just follow the path of islam and behave like a Muslim should – lower the gaze and have mercy on widows and divorcess in need! I doubt whether woman who decides to work, is doing it just for fun. And if she is bothered, she can shout out loud!
      BTW: I do assume that all men who oppose creating more workplace for women, would be willingly paying their expences (food, clothes, cost of transportation, rental, etc) – so they could simply stay at home?

      • How sad that Saudi Arabia has developed into the need for two-income families!

        As for those in desperate need, of course they should be given the choice to work, but only if they truly want to do so.

        Women who are abused, or who cater to lazy men, or who are deprived of their rightful inheritance do not need to be sent out into the workforce as a means of rectifying the abuse.

        The necessity for women of having to work can lead to an oppression in and of itself. Most people do not agree with me, I know, but I’ve lived long enough to see it happen more often than not.

        As for women being taken advantage of in their hospital work settings—- it doesn’t take too much imagination to realize how that can happen.

        Umm Latifa, you are lucky if you’ve never been harassed in Saudi Arabia. I, too, lowered my gaze, and covered myself properly, and I was harassed.

        I would certainly hope that men who are opposed to creating workplaces for women would, indeed, value the role of homemaking enough to realize that they must pay for it.

      • required

        i lived in the kingdom 10+ years and these honorable gentlemen you talk of do not exist. In terms of honor maybe an expatriate won’t harass you but he won’t intervene if you are being harassed either.
        It is a slippery slope. On the one hand a widowed woman needs to support herself. On the other, the kingdom hasn’t had that kind of woman presence in the work force or any public sector.
        Maybe what needs to be changed is their thinking, i mean the newer generation males. i always wondered how their men turned out this way if the mothers were always so discontent. I’d assume the mother would raise her child differently than what is the present mindset of the average saudi male.

    • Alicia

      Marahm,
      You raise a good point about American women having to do everything, but I don’t think this is a good argument against women working. Economics play a role. Women went to work in part because men stopped being able to earn enough money through wage stagnation, AND it was a choice for many families to live a more expensive lifestyle. Furthermore, a lot of the burden on working women in the US is caused by our very family unfriendly work and social environment. If we fought for better working conditions it wouldn’t be so hard. There are many advantages to women working! In my case, because I earn enough to support my family my husband does not have to take on haram work out of necessity. He is home to teach our son the Quran and how to be a good and respectful muslim male. He fixes the household machinery so we don’t have to pay another man to do it. He is always free to negotiate with business men so I don’t have to. If I were at home I would get stuck alone with workmen I have to supervise! At work I am in public and never alone with strange men. Obviously, women working is good when the husband goes bad. It’s a lot easier to divorce your abusive husband if you have funds. Which is why many abusive husbands don’t want their wives to work.

      • You say, “Economics play a role.” That’s absolutely correct, and my whole point is that economics should not play a role. Women should have the choice to work or not work outside of the home.

        The role of homemaking has lost so much respect since women flocked to the workforce, but I listen to women every day, at work, bitching because they come home from work and have to change diapers, cook dinner, wash clothes, babysit, etc., because their husbands are too tired from their own days at work to do these tasks. Women end up doing two full-time jobs, and that is a type of slavery.

        It was a big issue in my own divorce. I simply couldn’t do two full-time jobs. Because my husband ended up under-employed, I ended up a breadwinner. Believe me, he was no homemaker, and I do have an axe to grind with women choosing or having to work when they’d prefer to give their homes their full attention.

        We haven’t even touched upon the issue of kids who are raised at day care or who come home to an empty house after school.

      • Alicia

        Marahm,
        Can any of us avoid economics in our choice of how to live? It seems a nice idea to be able to choose to stay at home and have someone else bring you the resources you need to do so, but then that necessitates other economic choices. It, loosely, sounds like you are saying that society at large should pay for women to not work outside the home if they don’t want to. Otherwise the alternative is that women look at husbands first and foremost as a resource provider. Since women have the right to initiate marriage and divorce in America they have the right to make these choices. They also have the right to choose to live on less, even if it is a lot less. We have that choice too, it’s called welfare. hmmm. I can’t quite get at everything I am thinking here. You have me and my husband really thinking and talking about how our modern societies are affecting us! But it is time for iftar! Salaam….. Marahm, I will include you in my prayers. You seem tired and I don’t blame you. I had a husband who put everything on me and it was so exhausting. I will pray Allah sends you a good husband. It takes such a load off, whether you work outside the home or not.

      • Alicia, yes, I guess I am saying that society, if not the husband, should support women who choose to stay home, and I’m not talking about welfare, nor a bare-bones style of life.

        As for looking for a husband as a provider, well of course! That’s one of the reasons one gets married, no? Why would a woman get married, knowing she has to work, bare kids, take care of them, and maintain a marital relationship, all at the same time? How can she do a good job of all her jobs?

        I could never have done all that, even when I was young. There are only so many hours in a day.

  25. dhaineadp@gmail.com

    Ahhh…. just another useless fatwa. What a childish thought. Are all immams are horny as he is?

  26. A'idah

    Evidently there are all too many women in Islam who just love being used and abused as if they were livestock. They seem to be lazy as well, since many do not want to work.

    I really would like to know WHY any woman should “lower her gaze” because of some sex-obessed, rude, lecherous Muslim male who can’t control himself.

    Stare the freaks down! That works every time for me. I also ask such men if they would treat their mothers or sisters in this manner. It shames them. Those who think that every woman who is not covered head to toe is a prostitute, need to see a shrink! Those who harass and accost women should be in prison.

    It is shameful and really criminal that any woman in the 21st century must lower her gaze like a SLAVE because Muslim males are so completely out of control. How come billions of men in this world can control themselves?

    It’s the Saudi men who need to be wearing the burqa!

    @ Marahm who says: ”As for women being taken advantage of in their hospital work settings—- it doesn’t take too much imagination to realize how that can happen.”

    What can happen? NOTHING happens in the rest of the world! What is wrong with Saudi males that “something” could happen?

    It is really a joke that a country of a mere 27 million people presumes to make the rules for all Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

    • required

      i don’t get this concept that if a woman stays aat home to raise her children ( not everyone is blessed or cursed with a maid) that she is lazy?
      maye the women in saudi need to stop having these maids who do all the housework and raise the kids. let me tell you working is physically draining, and the house still needs to be taken care of. Do you need a list. theres cooking and laundry and cleaning and washing the bathroom and dusting and groceries and thats just the physical aspect if you don’t have kids. Add kids to the mix and by the end of the day i need a friggin break! understand that being a mom should have been a paid position. do we not pay the maid? the dry cleaner?
      … this sort of statement infuriates me because i am a house wife by choice, because i saw the need that was created if i wasn’t a house wife.

  27. Unnamed

    Obviously the Sheikh’s fatwa is pretty ridiculous, but there’s something bigger going on here.

    A Ghanaian friend of mine (who incidentally happens to be an Atheist) asked me today why it seems that Islamic self-confidence is crumbling away in the last 10 years? In the Muslim World that is.

    The Xenophobes will of course reply: “Because it’s an outdated mode of life from the 7th century, duh!!”

    The truth is that in this Global Age, any way of life put under the microscope could be dismantled with ease providing those who subscribe to it are feeble minded.

    I can understand what fuels the paranoia of people like this Sheikh. Most of these initiatives have a positive goal behind them, however, before you know it though, there will be a deluge of initiatives and the local culture is swept away gradually to become yet another Mc-Culture.

    It happened everywhere else in the world, one little step leads to a flood.

    What’s the solution in that case? I don’t know but this particular chap’s approach is lacking big time.

  28. Unnamed

    A’idah:

    Seriously, what the hell is eating you up?

    “It is really a joke that a country of a mere 27 million people presumes to make the rules for all Muslims as well as non-Muslims.”

    You’re not Saudi, nor Muslim from what I gather from your posts. Where the hell are you drawing your conclusions from? You’re frequenting a blog ABOUT Saudi Arabia BY CHOICE and pretending that the Saudi’s are telling you HOW to live.

    Laughable.

    • Alicia

      Here’s a guess:
      The US was attacked by Saudis. The Saudi government funds US islamic institutions in order to influence the direction of Islam in the US. uh, oil?? Personally, I don’t like the fact that the Saudi royal family owns a huge share of Newscorp who owns Fox, a “news” organization that regularly attacks muslims. Americans get in a tizzy about Saudi because for two peoples who hardly know each other we are so in each other’s business it’s silly.

      • Unnamed

        Yes, because those morons were angry at having American troops in the country since 1991.

        I know that having American troops in the country is a common business, they’ve based there ever since. In their warped agenda, they were doing something about that.

        I agree though about Saudi’s and Americans being strange bedfellows.

      • Alicia

        oops. I said “Saudi royal family” I meant “a member of the Saudi royal family.” Nonetheless, the business and political ties between the US and Saudi are pretty tangled up together. (Unnamed, doesn’t it seem pretty natural that people don’t want foreign soldiers on their land? You sound like you might be American as we are usually the people who least understand why everyone else doesn’t want our “protection.” Needed or not, I imagine it sort of feels like having the mob around. It has to be frustrating to be a citizen of a small country who is always getting tossed around and caught in the crossfire by the big “empires” and all our fights.)

  29. A'idah

    Unnamed says: ”why it seems that Islamic self-confidence is crumbling away in the last 10 years? “

    Because, fascism was defeated decades ago. No one wants any more of that even under the guise of “religion.”

    ”Most of these initiatives have a positive goal behind them, however, before you know it though, there will be a deluge of initiatives and the local culture is swept away gradually to become yet another Mc-Culture.”

    Care to tell us what is “positive” about keeping women enslaved, as prisoners of Muslim men to use and abuse as if they were cattle?

    Please tell us why the majority of humanity has no problem with men and women working side-by-side!

    Unnamed says: ”You’re frequenting a blog ABOUT Saudi Arabia BY CHOICE and pretending that the Saudi’s are telling you HOW to live.”

    You bet!

    The Saudis are trying to tell the whole world how to live. They export their Wahhab ideology to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to all the world. Who do you think funds all the fundamentalist mosques and the extremist wahhab imams?

    Forgive me if I, as a free Western woman, do not approve.

    Evidently you do?

  30. Unnamed

    You should nuke Saudi Arabia, that would solve the problem.

  31. @ Marahm: salam alaykum. I am sorry, I thought you are a man😉, forgive me sister🙂. And I see from the info on your blog that you work in a hospital😀. Is it where you were harrassed? I do wish Saudi women and all women in Saudi Arabia did not have to work🙂, but – were able to make their own choices🙂.

    • Wa Aleikum Assalaam, Umm Latifa. LOL! I guess Marahm can be a man’s name, too. Anyway, I did not get harassed in the hospital but on the streets of Riyadh where I used to walk to the store. I should write a post about it. In the hospital, I knew an Egyptian MAN who got harassed by a Saudi woman patient and had to leave the country!

  32. Mouloud

    The Wahbisme and Islam are part of the history of Saudi Arabia, Miss Saudiwoman you’re the extremist who wanted to pervert the Holy Land of the Prophet Muhammad.
    You treat your servants as slaves by cons is you not see you complain Miss.

    Do not forget that King Saud deceased sold Palestinian land to Israel in accordance with the U.S. to sign an oil contract.

    • Bart

      Does wahbism and islam being a part of history mean is has to be the future of Saudi-Arabia? Do women permanently have to cover their faces because women did so in the days of Muhammad? Do they have to be dependants for their whole lifes because they where in the days of Muhammad?

      The history of Saudi-Arabia won’t go away. But the people that live there and have to live under strict islamic law don’t go away either.

  33. ImadK

    Sheikh Al Ahmed does nothing more than embarrasses and humiliates my religion and my ummah with these fatwas. I gotta go give my support to HyperPanda.

  34. I think giving women a job as a cashier is a very good initiative, and it’s definitely a step in the good direction. InshaAllah other good initiatives will follow. Women who need or want to work should be given the opportunity, and that’s not enslavery but a basic right they should have.

    I don’t understand all these generalisations I read here. That “muslimmen” oppress women?
    Tell me, when a driver makes an accident, do you blame the car or the driver? Just because a man who happens to be muslim is bad towards women doesn’t mean that all muslims are like that!
    I’m a converted muslimgirl who strongly believes that if a man follows islam as he should, instead of his culture and traditions, he would treat his wife very well, because islam says he should. Also, each muslimcountry has other traditions, so how can you possibly generalise? Maybe it’s good to look at islam, and not at muslims, to know the truth!

  35. A'idah

    According to Noura Al Shamlan, head of the research department at the Centre of University Studies for Girls: The divorce rate in KSA is 60% and still women cannot get justice from the courts. http://www.gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi_arabia/10234986.html

    According to the head of Jeddah’s marriage court, Sheikh Saleh Ahmad Habad, KSA has the second-highest divorce rate in the world. http://www.artarabia.com/artman/publish/article_149.shtml
    ___________

    Ex-Husband Continues to Make Life Hell for Abused Wife

     
    JEDDAH — Six broken teeth. Debts in excess of SR200,000. Bruised spirit and a battered body. That’s precisely what 42-year-old Amal got from a marriage of 15 years.

    What’s worse, her ordeal has not ended even though she divorced four years ago – Amal is now faced with a possible lawsuit if she fails to pay her former husband around SR75,000 for “child support” by the end of this month.

    Not surprising then that though her name means “hope” in Arabic, Amal, a divorced mother of five, said she had lost all hope of any improvement in conditions for Saudi women and had a complete lack of faith in the local legal system.

    She had struggled for 15 years to survive life with an abusive husband. Seeking justice in Saudi courts for a year and half has not only left her broke and in debt but also with a court order that obliges her to pay child support… http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=106709&d=12&m=2&y=2008
    ___________

    Islam is what Muslims do, goldenraindrop. Killing women for “honor,” throwing acid into their faces, imprisoning them in their houses, forcing women to veil, forcing them to marry men whom they do not know, selling children into marriage with old men, making women have too many children, beating women as the Qur’an says they can—all of these things and many more are abusive and oppressive. All the more so, since Islam sanctions such treatment.

    Any society where women do not have complete, equal human rights is one that oppresses women. Islam oppresses women more than most societies in the world.

    Islam did not free women, it merely put them in a double cage, a religious and tribal cage.

    Perhaps you don’t know that under Islam your rights are not equal to those of men.

    • Your testimony is worth half of a man’s in court.

    • You cannot inherit equally with men.

    • You cannot get custody of your children.

    • You are forced in many Muslim nations to veil on pain of ostracization, physical force and even arrest.

    • In KSA and many Muslim nations you cannot leave your home without the permission of a man.

    • You cannot study or work in KSA and a number of other Islamic states unless you have the permission of your Mahram.

    Islam’s forced gender apartheid is like racial segregation in times past. It is NOT equal!

    ____________

    “Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-‘Arifi Explains Wife Beating in Islam to Young Muslims in a Ramadhan Show

    Excerpts from a program with Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-‘Arifi, which aired on LBC TV on September 9, 2007.

    Muhammad Al-‘Arifi: Men beat women more often than women beat men. I said that some women beat their husbands because this happens, but it is rare, and there is no need to hold conferences on wives who beat their husbands. I believe this is less prevalent, because by nature, the body of the man… In most cases, Allah made the body of men stronger than the body of women. Therefore, you and your sister… You may be taller than your mother, right? If your mother is ill, you may be able to carry her, but she cannot carry you. Allah created women with these delicate, fragile, supple, and soft bodies, because they use their emotions more than they use their bodies. Therefore, while the man may use beating to discipline his wife, she sometimes uses her tears to discipline him. He gets what he wants by screaming, while she gets what she wants from him by crying and displaying emotions. For men, women’s emotions may be fiercer than the strike of a sword.

    [… ]
    First, “admonish them” – once, twice, three times, four times, ten times. If this doesn’t help, “refuse to share their beds.” In such a case, the husband does not sleep with his wife, or, in other words, he is angry with her. He gives her the silent treatment, refusing to talk to her. If he comes to eat, and she asks him: “How are you?” – he doesn’t answer. If she asks him: “Do you want anything?” – he doesn’t answer. He distances himself from her in bed and in conversation, he does not sleep with her, but goes to sleep in another room. He shows her that he is angry with her. If this does not help – if the admonishing did no good, and when he goes to sleep in another room, she says: “Thank God, he’s gone. Now I’ve got the whole bed to myself, I will sleep alone in bed and roll over at night as much as I like.” If neither method worked with her, what is the third option?

    Guest: “And beat them.”

    Al-‘Arifi: That’s right. How is this beating performed? What do you think?

    Guest:: Light beatings.

    Al-‘Arifi: Light beatings in what way?

    Guest:: For example, I wouldn’t beat her in the face…

    Al-‘Arifi: Beating in the face is forbidden, even when it comes to animals. When a person is beating an animal… Even if you want your camel or donkey to start walking, you are not allowed to beat it in the face. If this is true for animals, it is all the more true when it comes to humans. So beatings should be light and not in the face. Some religious scholars say: “He should beat her with a toothpick.” I happen to have a toothpick with me. A man who is angry with his wife because she doesn’t get it… If he says to her: “Watch out, the child has fallen next to the stove,” or: “Move the child away from the electrical socket,” and she says: “I am busy” – then he beats her with a toothpick or something like it. He doesn’t beat her with a bottle of water, a plate, or a knife. This is forbidden. The scholars said he should beat her with a toothpick. Check out how gentle the toothpick used for beating is. This shows you that the purpose is not to inflict pain. When you beat an animal, you intend to cause it pain so it will obey you, because an animal would not understand if you said: “Oh camel, come on, start moving.” The camel does not understand such things, unless you beat it. A donkey understands nothing but beatings, but a woman, a man, a child, and so on, are generally more affected by emotions than by other things. If you beat her with a toothpick, or if you beat her lightly with your hand, and so on, it is meant to convey: “Woman, it has gone too far. I can’t bear it anymore.” If he beats her, the beatings must be light and must not make her face ugly. He must beat her where it will not leave marks. He should not beat her on the hand… He should beat her in some places where it will not cause any damage. He should not beat her like he would beat an animal or a child – slapping them right and left. Unfortunately, many husbands beat their wives only when they get mad, and when they start beating, it as if they are punching a wall – they beat with their hands, right and left, and sometimes use their feet. Brother, it is a human being you are beating. This is forbidden. He must not do this.”

    “He should not beat her like he would beat an animal or a child – slapping them right and left. “

    Of course, one should always beat animals and children.

    What a society!😦

  36. Coolred38

    Aidah…your comments leave me nodding my head and agreeing with so many of your points…a girl after my own heart. Finally someone that backs up her/his comments with facts and figures….not just “cause some sheik so and so said so”.

    I dont always agree with a commentors comments…but if they can do as you have done…while remaining within the bounds of polite discourse…well heck…it makes your loooong comments all the more worth reading.

    A refreshing change from the usual fodder up for grabs on many of these blogs….my own included I will admit.

    Thank you

  37. Does Qur’anic verse 4:34 “allow a superior husband
    to beat his inferior, disobedient wife?”

    If ever there has been a controversial verse in the Holy Qur’an, it certainly is verse 4:34. Used by opponents of Islam to label this religion woman-unfriendly (to put it mildly), Muslims themselves are struggling with interpreting it. For yes, let us agree about this: there is no such thing as “the” one and only correct interpretation of the Word of Allah – only Allah knows what He meant. We can only try to understand. And in this particular case, an alternative for the troublesome interpretations of this verse may bring us a bit closer to that objective.

    Let us have a look at a (partial) translation of this verse 1:

    “Men are the {qawwam} of women, because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are {qanitat}, and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear {nushuz}, admonish them first, then refuse to share their beds, and finally {adriboo} them; but when they {ataa:} to you, then seek not against them means of annoyance: For Allah is Most High, great above you all. ”

    Disobedient women?

    The key word to answer this question is {qanitat}, which is a feminine plural of {qanit}, based on the root {q-n-t}. This word appears on many other occasions in the Holy Qur’an 2, where it is used exclusively in the sense of ‘submissive, obedient to Allah’. Verse 4:34 contains no reason at all to depart from this meaning and to change it into ‘obedience to a husband’. This verse is about pious women who, just like pious men, are obedient to Allah. And a wife (husband) who is obedient to God, must live up to her (his) marital duties.

    Superior husband and inferior wife?

    Throughout the Holy Qur’an, Allah emphasizes that men and women are equal for Him – Allah will judge them in exactly the same way 3. So it would be strange indeed if a verse would contradict this equality. But is that really the case here? The Arabic word used is {qawwam}, an intensive form of {qaim}, meaning: ‘to take care of, to look after’. Therefore, does this verse say that men are superior to women? Not at all. It says: men must look after women. In Islam, men are obliged to financially provide for their wife and children. They have to pay for their housing, clothing, food, medicines, etc. That is what {qawwamoona} means: men must take care of women.

    Misbehaviour?

    Is this verse about what a man should do when his wife ‘misbehaves’? The exact word used here, {nushuz}, means ‘discord, hostiliy, dissonance’. In this context it could be interpreted as ‘marital problems’.

    Beating his wife?

    The verse instructs a husband whose wife causes problems in their marriage to first talk to her about it, then leave the marital bed, then {adriboo} his wife, and all of this in view of pursueing a reconciliation as is evident from the subsequent verse 4:35.

    The Arabic word used here, {adriboo}, from the root {d-r-b}, has several dozens of meanings, such as: ‘to beat’, but also: ‘to forsake, to avoid, to leave’.

    How do we know which interpretation to choose? One way to find out, is to relate this verse to other verses in the Holy Qur’an and to check if the meanings make sense. In this case, let us look at verse 24:2, which describes what should be done in case of adultery :

    “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes…” (Holy Qur’an 24:2)4

    This verse establishes the principle that for men and women, equal actions lead to equal punishment. When for adultery men and women must receive equal punishment, surely there is no reason why they should be treated differently for any lesser marital problem.

    Now let us take a look at the consequences of interpreting {adriboo} one way or another.

    Suppose {adriboo} means: ‘to beat’.

    In this case, verse 4:34 says that when a wife causes a problem in the marriage, her husband should first talk to her about it, then leave their bed, then beat her and all of this in view of increasing his chances of a reconciliation. On the emotional level, this certainly does not sound like a very promising course of action. So let us check this meaning against the bigger framework and in particular against the principle of ‘equal behaviour leads to equal punishment’. This would imply that when a husband causes a problem in the marriage, his wife can beat him. At which he could invoke verse 4:34 to beat her again, so that the result would be a perpetual physical fight between spouses! Surely, this makes no sense at all. And indeed, it is not what Allah prescribes for the situation where a husband causes a rift, as will be explained in a moment.

    Suppose {adriboo} means: ‘to forsake, to avoid’, possibly, as Mohammed Abdul Malek5 suggests: ‘to separate, to part’ .

    Now what do we get? Verse 4:34 now says that when a wife causes a problem in the marriage, her husband should first talk to her about it, then leave their bed (forsaking his sexual satisfaction), then avoid her even more (not talking to her anymore, leaving the room when she enters it, and possibly even leaving the house for a while), in order to prevent things from getting worse, and on the contrary to let things cool down and create enough space in view of increasing chances of a reconciliation.

    This sounds like a very logical chain of events.

    Also, application of the general rule of verse 24:2 (‘equal actions, equal punishment’) now means that when a husband causes a marital problem, his wife should forsake a few of her rights, avoid her husband in increasing ways, and try to work towards a reconciliation. And yes, that is precisely what verse 4:128 says:

    “If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves” (Holy Qur’an 4:128)4

    Understanding {adriboo} as ‘to forsake, to (gradually) avoid (more and more), possibly eventually leave altogether’, clearly makes sense when relating several verses to one another.

    And there is more. Beating a wife, would contradict hadiths of the Holy Prophet who repeatedly said: “do not beat believing women!”. It would also contradict the Holy Prophet’s instructions about anger – which (unless it is caused by injustice) he explained to originate from Satan and which he described as “a living coal on one’s heart”. One should not act upon ones anger, lest one would do things one would regret later. When you are angry when you are standing, sit down, the Holy Prophet said. And when you are still angry when you are sitting, then lie down. Interpreting this verse as allowing a husband to beat his wife, surely contradicts these rulings on anger.

    Furthermore, Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that one must meet bad behaviour with something that is better, not with something that is worse, in order to turn a hostile situation into a friendly one:

    “Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!” (Holy Qur’an 41:13)4

    Therefore the word {adriboo} cannot really have meant “to beat”, can it. It must mean something that is better than causing problems, and avoiding the problem certainly is exactly that.

    Based on the evidence presented here, it would seem that interpreting {adriboo} as ‘to beat’, causes several internal conflicts with the meaning of other Qur’anic verses and hadiths, while interpreting it as ‘gradually forsaking, more and more and possibly leaving altogether’, is a much more logical interpretation that is entirely consistent with the interpretation of other rules in the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

    What makes much more sense, is that this verse does not allow a ‘superior’ husband to ‘beat’ his ‘inferior, disobedient’ wife. On the contrary, this verse appears to tell us that a husband must look after his wife (an equal partner who, like he, is obedient to God), and that when his wife is causing problems in their marriage, he should first talk to her about it, if that doesn’t help, he should begin avoiding her by leaving the marital bed. If that still doesn’t resolve the situation, he should forsake her presence even more, avoid conversations, leave a room when she enters it, avoid her company altogether, and possibly leave the house for a while, so that no problems are added to the conflict, and so that things can cool down a bit to maximise chances for a later reconciliation.

    Return to obedience?

    When the problem is solved, when the wife is committed to the marriage again, then the husband is advised not to keep using the incident against her and to consider the incident closed.

    The exact Arabic wording is: “when then they (fem.pl.) {aTa:} (with) you (masc.pl.), then seek not against them (fem.pl) means of annoyance”. The verb {aTa:} (alif taa alif ayn) has several meanings, such as: ‘obey’, but also: ‘comply, comply with, accommodate, give in to’, or in French ‘filer doux’. Consequently, the verse can be understood to mean: “when then they are committed to the marriage again”, or: “when then they give in to/comply with the efforts of the husband to save the marriage”, or “when they no longer cause marriage problems”, … Linguistically there is no compelling necessity to translate {aTa:} as “obedient to the husband” . Other interpretations are possible and indeed preferable. Earlier in the verse, there was no reason at all to translate {qanitat} as women who are “obedient to their husband” so that here there isn’t any reason to imply that this verse is about a temporary disobedience and a subsequent return to obedience to their husbands. It is not a matter of obedience to him, it is a matter of {nushuz} (marriage problems). And the Holy Quran advises that when one of the partners causes a marriage problem, the other should gradually avoid the person who causes the problem, in order to save the marriage – irrespective of who started the strife (4:34, 4:128)

    Yet of course, this is only an interpretation. Allah knows best.

    source: http://www.flw.ugent.be/cie/bogaert/bogaert4.htm

    • Alicia

      Thanks GR for taking the time to write all that out! Asma Barlas makes a similar argument in her work. This is a nice, portable version! I will put it in my son’s book of ….it doesn’t have a name….just great stuff that comes from all the non-sheiks!

  38. A'idah

    @ Coolred38

    Thanks!😀

    I always support my posts with quotes from Islamic texts and Islamic clerics. Still, many people claim, “That’s not real Islam.”😉

    goldenraindrop says: ”Yet of course, this is only an interpretation. Allah knows best.”

    Ah, well here are a few more scholarly interpretations of that passage:

    The Qur’an’s verse 4:34 sanctions the beating of disobedient women , وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ, waidriboohunna in all scholarly translations:

    Pickthall: “and scourge them”


    Yusuf Ali: “(And last) beat them (lightly)”


    Al-Hilali/Khan: “(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)”


    Shakir: “and beat them”
Sher Ali: “and chastise them”


    Khalifa: “then you may (as a last alternative) beat them”
Arberry: “and beat them”


    Rodwell: “and scourge them”


    Sale: “and chastise them”


    Asad: “then beat them”


    Dawood: “and beat them.”
    ____________

    Sheikh Syed Mahmud Allusi in his Qur’an commentary Ruhul Ma’ani the thirty-volume tafsir of the Qur’an, gives four reasons that a man may beat his wife: “if she refuses to beautify herself for him,” if she refuses sex when he asks for it, if she refuses to pray or perform ritual ablutions, and “if she goes out of the house without a valid excuse.” Also, Muhammad’s example is normative for Muslims, since he is an “excellent example of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21) –

    Aisha reports that Muhammad struck her. Once he went out at night after he thought she was asleep, and she followed him surreptitiously. Muhammad saw her, and, as Aisha recounts:

    “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?”
    ______________

    So, the exemplary man Muhammad himself hit his favorite child wife, Aisha.

    Allah and his apostle appear to be very confused since there are so many contradictory surah of the 114 in the Qur’an, first the peaceful ones revealed in Mecca and then the misanthropic, misogynistic, violent ones revealed in Medina. Why is that?

    Please do also tell us Ms. goldenraindrop, why is it that since the inception of Islam, Muslim males, especially the ulema, have misinterpreted so much of the Qur’an? They do it today evidently more than ever, because Muslims are continually saying: “That isn’t real Islam!”

    Could it be because the original language of the Qur’an was Aramaic or that only 12% of Muslims today are Arab speakers who must use translations of the Qur’an or that even those who speak Arabic do not speak the classical Arabic of the Qur’an?

    Do you, a convert, speak classical Arabic?

    Can you tell us what “real” Islam is and why most Muslims do not seem to follow “real” Islam?

    Still, you must admit that the statistics for the abuse and oppression of women are very high in KSA and the rest of the Islamic world, at least according to Human Rights organizations.

  39. Hi A’idah,

    I, as a convert, am currently studying Standard Arabic, Classic Arabic and the Palestinian dialect, in university. I am also studying islamic sciences there. I live in a Western, christian country, and I can tell you that my education is scientific and not religious.
    The first thing we learned there is that “the” islam doesn’t exist. There are so many interpretations, so many visions that you can’t just define islam as if it was a thing. What a muslim does, doesn’t only depend on his religion, but also on his culture, the traditions and the environment in which he grew up.
    Here is another text for you:

    What Women Want?

    The Prophet and Women in Islam

    By Prof. Shahul Hameed

    Muhammad the Feminist

    I wonder how many men and women nowadays can digest the idea of calling Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) a “feminist”.

    That is, a feminist in the sense of one who always stood for the rights of women. In fact, he was just that, though the term applied to the Prophet could sound a bit quaint or anachronistic.

    In a cultural milieu where baby girls were buried alive and wives were treated no better than chattel, the Prophet courageously liberated them and raised their status to equal that of men.

    Muslims see Muhammad as living up to his God-appointed mission as the final messenger of God, standing up like a titan towering above the barbaric influences of the time to become the spiritual leader of the whole Muslim nation in Arabia as well as everywhere else Islam reached.

    Literally, he rose to the high standards of leadership set by his own tradition: He was humble enough to listen to the complaints of his people and always hastened to meet their needs.

    To the weakest among the people, he was compassionate, and considering the condition of women in those days, he was very responsive to their thoughts, feelings, and needs. He was particularly gentle, kind, and considerate toward them.

    In this respect, he was very much unlike some of his Companions.

    Umar ibn Al-Khattab once said:

    One day I went to the Prophet and saw him smiling. “May God make you smile forever, O Messenger of God,” I said and asked why he was smiling. “I smile at those women. They were chatting in front of me before you came. When they heard your voice, they all vanished,” he answered, still smiling. On hearing this answer, I raised my voice and told them, “O enemies of your own selves, you are scared of me, but you are not scared of the Messenger of God, and you do not show respect to him.” On hearing that, the women said, “You [Umar] are hard-hearted and strict.” (Al-Bukhari )

    Twin Halves of Men

    The Prophet always listened to women with consideration and compassion as he valued their views and opinions not only about affairs that specifically concerned them, but also about matters of wider significance.

    It was because the Prophet gave such encouragement to women that there were well-known instances in early Muslim history of some of them freely speaking out for their rights.

    Following the injunctions in the Qur’an, the Prophet gave women the right to education and freedom in matters related to marriage, divorce, and property rights.

    The Prophet described women as “the twin halves of men,” which emphasized the idea that their role in society is complementary to that of men. He declared that “the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman.”

    He taught his followers that it is God’s commandment to treat women with gentleness and affection because, he said, “they are your mothers, daughters, aunts.”

    Women Are Not the Devil

    One typical Western criticism of the Prophet is about his marriages. Compared to the Christian conception of Jesus as the “Son of God”, Muhammad (peace be upon him) appears so down-to-earth and human.

    If Christianity celebrates celibacy, Islam definitely celebrates marriage. And the final prophet, like the Old Testament prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and David, has proved through his own example that women do not defile men.

    Indeed, Islamic spirituality is not weakened by the body, as it transcends far above the demands of the body. Also Islam, unlike Christianity, does not view the woman as the cause of the fall of man.

    Respecting Mothers

    The respect given to women as mothers is another aspect of “the Prophetic vision, in which kindness and loyalty to the mother, a rahmah (= mercy) to reciprocate the rahmah they themselves dispensed, is seen as an almost sacramental act” (Murad).

    The Prophet said, “Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers” (Ahmad).

    Once a man came to Prophet Muhammad and asked, “O Messenger of God, which person of all the people is best entitled to kind treatment and good companionship from me?” He answered, “Your mother.” The man asked, “And then?” He said, “Your mother.”

    The man asked again, “And after her?” He said, “Your mother.” The man asked for a fourth time, “And after her?” The Prophet said, “Your father” (Al-Bukhari).

    The Perfect Husband

    The Prophet was a perfect model for humankind in every aspect of our life. He was the kindest husband and the most loving and caring partner to his wives.

    According to Aishah, the Prophet used to help his wives with domestic chores: “He always joined in household work and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes, and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether, and feed his animals and do the household shopping.” He taught his followers: “The best among you is the one who is best toward his wife” (At-Tirmidhi).

    We should remember that those were the days when women were treated like slaves and were punished for the silliest mistakes. The Prophet stopped all that and gave women the rights equal to those of men.

    For instance, Islam gave a wife the right to acquire and possess wealth and keep it for herself, and she had no responsibility to share the family expenses with her husband. And the husband had no legal right to any of her belongings.

    The Plight of Women
    In ancient times when a man died, his widow was often denied all rights to his property and she was subjected to terrible humiliation and maltreatment.

    In certain societies, there was a tradition of immolation of the widow on the funeral pyre of her husband. Even if she was permitted to live, she was denied the right to remarry and lead a normal life. But the Prophet himself set the example of marrying widows and divorcees; his first wife was Khadijah, a widow 15 years senior to him. And after her death, he married only widows and divorcees with the exception of Aishah.

    Islam believes that the one who works for widows and orphans is like one who strives in the way of God. And we must remember that in those primitive times, a woman who did not have the support of a man was lost and ruined.

    The Prophet’s mercy toward women was not surprising, because Almighty God had appointed him as a mercy for the whole of creation.

    A Revolutionary Man
    In the Madinah society after the emigration of Muslims from Makkah established by the Prophet, women were guaranteed personal respect, the right to education, the right to enter into legal contracts, and the political right to express their views concerning public affairs.

    They were also given the right to choose a husband of their liking and to reject a marriage they did not like. At the time of marriage, a woman is entitled to a suitable present (in Arabic: mahr) from her bridegroom, and she is declared free of all domestic financial responsibilities, which are the responsibility of the husband.

    It is the duty of the husband to provide his wife and children with food, clothes, a home, and medical treatment according to his financial position and income. Muslim scholars have said that if a man does not support his wife financially, then she is entitled to get a divorce.

    The Prophet said that the best charity (in Arabic: sadaqah) is that spent on one’s wife: forgiveness in the case of disagreement, good manners, sweet words, a smiling face, a pleasing playfulness, and an amusing mien are but some facets of this “charity.”

    The Prophet said, “The world is delightful, and its greatest treasure is a good woman” (Muslim).

    The husband is not to stay away from his wife or keep his wife in a state of suspense, whether at home or abroad, for a long period of time except with her consent. Unreasonably long separation on the part of the husband without prior arrangement with the wife is sufficient grounds for her to obtain divorce through a judge.

    Indeed, the Prophet allowed women to engage in suitable work for earning an income like men, so long as such jobs did not infringe on their dignity. He permitted them even to participate in battles: specifically to nurse the wounded soldiers and to fight alongside men.

    All this was indeed revolutionary, considering the prevailing socio-cultural paradigms defining the Arabs of the time. So it was not surprising that so soon after the Prophet’s time, the vestiges of the pre-Islamic era, traditions from pre-Islamic Arabia slowly returned and gained somewhat of a foothold among Muslims.

    Consequently something of the misogyny that previously existed returned, which reminds us of the need for reaffirming the noble example of the Prophet, whose compassion to his wives, daughters, and women companions cannot be forgotten.

    References

    Anjum, Darakhshan. “Apostle of Peace and Mercy for Women.” Radianceviews Weekly. 15 April 2007. Accessed 5 Nov. 2007.

    Murad, Abdal Hakim. “Boys Will Be Boys: Gender Identity Issues.” Accessed 5 Nov. 2007.

    Murad, Abdal Hakim. “Islam, Irigaray, and the Retrieval of Gender.” Masud.April 1999. Accessed 5 Nov. 2007.

    Pickthall, Marmaduke. “Social Degradation of Women a Crime and a Libel on Islam: The Un-Islamic Indian-Style Purdah System.” Accessed 5 Nov. 2007.

    Syed, Ibrahim B. “Women in Islam: Hijab.” Islamic Research Foundation International. Accessed 5 Nov. 2007.

    • Nice comment, goldenraindrop. One of the nice characteristics of blogs is that posts and comments will be read by other readers than the authors and respondents. In this conversation, your efforts will find appreciation not by the person to whom they are addressed, but by others, who understand that all religion– Islam, included– has dark sides and beauty, and that sincere seekers concentrate on the beauty.

      That doesn’t mean Islam isn’t due for an Age of Enlightenment, but reform is an issue we Muslims must grapple with, and grapple with sooner rather than later.

  40. Laylah

    Saudiwoman, did you know Panda belongs to the Savola group, and the new minister of labor is the chairman??
    Coinsidence that the King appointed him?

    I wrote a post about it: http://blueabaya.blogspot.com/2010/08/king-abdullah-emissary-of-saudi-women.html

    This sheikh is totally out of his mind.
    I will definately shop in Panda from now on, even Im more of a Danube fan.

  41. A'idah

    Saudiwoman, I find all religions negative, including Christianity. However, Islam has a special place among them all.

    Please show what is positive. Like KSA, I don’t see a thing.

    • in Saudi we are family-oriented and generous. we’re in each others business, that’s true, but when you’re down it’s good to find people gather around and care.
      about Islam, I know these by heart so don’t make look for the sources it’s a fact that they are reliable. first of all the Prophet PBUH says that if you do only the five pillars; Believe in one God and that Mohammed was one of his prophets, pray five times a day, fast Ramadan, pay your assigned charitable amount and perform pilgrimage once if you are able. If you only do these and not harm anyone of course, the Prophets PBUH guarantees you Heaven. No mention of covering women or anything else like that. another Hadith that you should look into is that in which the prophet says religion is in how you deal with others.
      with regards to the stonings that keep coming up in the news, in the Quran it says that you have to have four witnesses to the actual penetration, so outside a sex video or an orgy it’s extremely hard to get convicted for. it’s more of a preventive measure rather than a punishment to give weight to the act of adultery.
      another thing, the only proof that Mohammed PBUH married Aisha at age nine is unreliable for several reasons. Historians have proven over and over again that she was in her late teens. And that fits since all of his other wives including his favorite wife Khadija were adults. and the fact that there are no hadiths or Quranic verse that condone child marriages.
      I could go on and on.
      anyhow what is happening in Saudi Arabia is that within three generations, you’ve taken a people who were mainly illiterate and living very traditional lives, no cities just town and villages and changed the environment completely and the rules of the game. My life is completely different from my mothers and my mothers life is completely different from my grandmothers. Where in the world can you find a population that has undergone so many changes and collectively kept up without any growing pains?

    • Laylah

      Aidah have you ever been to the KSA?
      How can you say you don’t see anything positive about it? You sound really arrogant by saying that. Do you mean the country or Saudis in general?
      There is actually alot of positive things about KSA and Saudis. Many things are better here than in the west in my opinion. But of course you are not going to believe that because you are a hater and nothing will open your eyes.

      You know that saudis are really hospitable and warm people? they have great sense of humour too🙂
      families are close and elderly people are actually respected and cherished, not left to die alone and miserable like we do in our civilised western countries.
      Just to mention a few things.

      And KSA has really beautiful scenery, like nowhere else in the world.

      Anyways I think im just waisting my time with you.

      • abuabdullah

        “You know that saudis are really hospitable and warm people” only some i of them and to some them..

  42. A'idah

    Just for the record, Eman, I am not an atheist.😉

  43. A’idah, do you have your own blog? If not, perhaps you’d be like to start one.

    You’ve spent a lot of time and effort spelling out some very negative aspects of Islam, and you’ve said nothing new. Instead of concentrating on more of the same, why don’t you
    shift gears, and think up some viable ideas for combatting what is unacceptable?

    Islamic “reform” is more interesting, more immediate, more demanding, more complex, more controversial and more important than rehashing lists of the abuses and/or elevations of the woman’s position within it.

    I think Saudiwoman is doing a good job in bridging the gap between traditional Islam and the Western world. She does so tastefully, certainly courageously, in addressing the hot topics, and allowing the even hotter responses.

  44. A'idah

    Marahm says: ”You’ve spent a lot of time and effort spelling out some very negative aspects of Islam, and you’ve said nothing new. “

    The “negative aspects” are all based in facts and truth. I fail to see anything positive in Islam. If you do, then please enlighten the curious.

    Instead of concentrating on more of the same, why don’t you
shift gears, and think up some viable ideas for combatting what is unacceptable?

    I’ve spent a whole lot less time than Eman grousing about what is unacceptable in KSA. I have no idea how she plans to combat that, since it’s all based in Islam and there are men who would kill her first than let her change anything.

    How to combat what is unacceptable in Islam to those who have studied Islam means throwing out all surah that are misanthropic and misogynistic as well as the appalling behavior examples of the messenger. Clearly, that will never happen since the Qur’an is supposedly immutable/unchangeable, while Muhammad is the “perfect” man.

    My theory is that as Muslims gain more and more freedoms they will become more secular. Not that I will see that in my lifetime.

    However, it does bug many people that Muslims come to the free world and insist on foisting the tenets of Islam on unbelievers. Case in point. Imam Rauf and his Cordoba initiative; Rauf, who has been shown to be just another lying Muslim working toward sharia law in the free world.

    Sorry, but most people will NEVER accept that!

    • A’idah said,”The “negative aspects” are all based in facts and truth.”

      Yes, so what else is new?

      A’idah then said, “I fail to see anything positive in Islam. If you do, then please enlighten the curious.”

      You are not curious, so don’t ask. Besides, I am not the one who has any interest in selling Islam to anyone, least of all hate-mongers. All I want to do is partake in more meaningful conversations.

      Your other points are actually worth considering. As Muslims gain more and more freedom, they will, as you suggest, get more secular. We see this every day— I don’t know why you have not seen it yet.

      Throwing out ayat and hadith is also a possibility, though that is what we might not see in our lifetimes. Christianity has transformed itself dramatically over the centuries, with, of course, the blood-shed that can be expected when some people challenge other people’s most sacred beliefs.

      Who knows but that Islam may also undergo some sort of reformation? It’s inconceivable today, but the fact that we are talking so openly about these things– all over the world– may be a prelude to change we can not yet envision.

    • Issam

      “The “negative aspects” are all based in facts and truth.”

      No they are not. You have told any facts or truth.

      “I fail to see anything positive in Islam.”

      That is because you are a blind ignorant and unintelligent fascist.

      “If you do, then please enlighten the curious.”

      You are not curious, as Marahm rightfully said.

      “I’ve spent a whole lot less time than Eman grousing about what is unacceptable in KSA. I have no idea how she plans to combat that, since it’s all based in Islam and there are men who would kill her first than let her change anything.”

      It is not based on Islam. And no nobody would kill her you ignorant fascist. There are many women in Saudi Arabia who are actually vocal about their concerns like Wajiha Alhuwaidar.

      “How to combat what is unacceptable in Islam to those who have studied Islam”

      You have never studied Islam (Or any other religion for that matter), and you are so much ignorant about Islam that it would an insult to the human mind.

      “means throwing out all surah that are misanthropic and misogynistic”

      There are no misanthropic or misogynistic suras in the Quran.

      “as well as the appalling behavior examples of the messenger.”

      Prophet Muhammad was a righeous man. He never did any appalling behaviour.

      “Clearly, that will never happen since the Qur’an is supposedly immutable/unchangeable, while Muhammad is the “perfect” man.”

      Yes the Quran is immutable/unchangeable, so is every other sacred book. And Muhammad was a good example to humankind. So far you have not any evidence to the contrary. Only hate hate and hate.

      “My theory is that as Muslims gain more and more freedoms they will become more secular. Not that I will see that in my lifetime.”

      Your theory is wrong, as usual.

      “However, it does bug many people that Muslims come to the free world”

      What is the free world and where is it? You talk as if the free world is your property! Who is an ignorant fascist like you to decide what is free world and what is not?
      Do you know that many people come to the Muslim world for work and even living?

      “and insist on foisting the tenets of Islam on unbelievers.”

      You are a liar. Muslims only want their religious freedom, just like everybody else.

      “Case in point. Imam Rauf and his Cordoba initiative; Rauf, who has been shown to be just another lying Muslim working toward sharia law in the free world.”

      The only liar here is you and this has been documented. Imam Rauf does not want to force anything on anybody or do something unconstitutional.

      “Sorry, but most people will NEVER accept that!”

      Speak for yourself, lying fascist.

  45. Laylah

    That is very sad news..im just writing a post on supporting Panda chain..I cant belive this narcist misogynist madman could have such an influence??

    No no no!!!!

    I hope the King will intervene, afterall the “sheikh” went against his ruling by issuing the fatwa!

  46. Laylah

    Decided to post anyways, Im so upset if they really back out on this :((((

    http://blueabaya.blogspot.com/2010/08/boycott-fatwa-madness-by-supporting.html

  47. Saladin

    @ Issam-

    You go girl! Anyone who quotes the Koran and knows islamic history is a “supremacist ignorant fascist” and should be stopped from exercising their right to free speech at all costs. She should get lashes for telling it like it is.

    The truth is just too much for religious, ignorant, supremacist fascists.

    • Issam

      Are you stupid? Or yet another fascist? She neither understands the Quran nor does she know history. Really cannot you see all the hate and racism and supremacism she has been preaching?

      Fascists have no place in the civilized world.

  48. She’s not blocked. She continues her crass rants, saying the same things over and over, ad infinitum. Her vitriol doesn’t even deteriorate.

    Unfortunately, her delivery is so defensive and dripping with acidity that we tend not to admit that much of what she says is correct.

    Hypocrisy in Islam is a major issue. Qur’anic ayas that recommend killing non-Muslims have to be addressed, and we Muslims need to face much more sensitive and difficult issues than the likes of people like A’idah.

    I daresay we can gain nothing from discourse with Muslim-bashers until after we’ve cleaned our own house.

  49. Coolred38

    I find it interesting that Muslims will use the excuse…”your just picking out the bad stuff and highlighting it”…uhm…hello? This is the religion of Peace…the most perfected and last of religions..a complete way of life that has an answer for everything..a moral guidance surpassing all other religions before it etc etc etc…there shouldnt be any bad stuff…at least no where near the scale that have been stated here and elsewhere.

    The fact that “muslim haters/anti Islamics” can pick out and highlight even ONE ayat in the Quran and spin it negatively (or no spinning needed) makes me think it could have been written in such a way that NO spin, negative or otherwise, could be made from it….if God had so desired to do that. Certainly God knew what was coming when he wrote it the way he did…ambiguous ayats…various interpreted meanings…many interpreted in oppressive restrictive ways…especially to women.

    And last but not least…giving it and leaving it in the hands of culture that see women as less than…inferior…and little more than children.

    Sounds like a bad set up from the start.

  50. The threaded replies to all these posts are getting confusing.

    A’idah challenged me to address some of the issues we brought up here, and I repeat that I am starting with myself. This blog is not the place to expound my own personal struggles with religion. I’ll leave that to my own blog, but I’d like to leave A’idah and company with the last word, which they so dearly cherish.

    I repeat, it’s time for me to move on. Cheers!

  51. Apologies for getting some of my responses out of order– don’t know how that happened.

    The following, my most recent and last comment in this thread, should appear her,

    A’idah challenged me to address some of the issues we brought up here, and I repeat that I am starting with myself. This blog is not the place to expound my own personal struggles with religion. I’ll leave that to my own blog, but I’d like to leave A’idah and company with the last word, which they so dearly cherish.

    I repeat, it’s time for me to move on. Cheers

  52. Mouloud

    By dint of denigrating the women who wear the niqab in France you are playing the game of anti Muslim Eman El Nafjan shame on you, you want the freedom of women to choose their life and you condemn in France you are inconsistent.

  53. Mubeen Shahid

    Not sure why the Awesome Saudi Religious Scholars dont offer any Fatwa on following kind of issues in the Kingdom:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/27/sri-lanka-maid-saudi-arabia

  54. Umm Saudi woman I want to link this post I just rviewed because in it is a video of an American Muslim whom I believe points to what we all should be focused on…building bridges…and more, points to the reason there is so much hostility towards each other; as witnessed in some of these responses. I hope this is okay but I guess you can whip it off if its not. With all respect to all views.
    http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/islam-interfaith-talk-there-is-hope/

  55. ynotoman

    one suspects that the religious ‘shiekh’ wishes the women starved to death along with their dependents.
    One assumes that he and his rich fellow ‘shiekhs’ do not intend to give the any charity so the women must work.
    I have to say when I worked in Saudi 20 years ago I was astounded that on the streets of Dammam (or Al Khobar – old age makes one brain forget locations) women were deposited on street corners to sell inexpensive items by men who then drove away in a car .
    Did the ‘sheikh’ issue a fatwa about that ?? or perhaps not! as the difference is that the women on the street were just that – on the street and would remain in the gutter as long as the ‘sheikh’ and his ilk treats them in such an appaling manner; while the women in Panda, I suspect, will at some stage (god willing ) be promoted and better themselves, through their own toil and skill (and Panda’s support – who will be helped by kind people like you )
    Oh and here are a couple of interesting cases
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7415290.stm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11094968
    perhaps it’s the same family – or certainly people against whom the ‘sheikh’ dosnt issue fatwas for degrading treatment of helpless females , as he busies himself doing every thing he can to ensure that helpless female Saudis remain helpless and poverty stricken

  56. Alicia

    Thanks for providing the link leesis, I agree with you: “what he said.” Sometimes confronting the objectors strengthens our own faith. I really hate how all of this fighting is taking away from the real work that needs to be done which makes me think much of it is a purposeful distraction in order to see that the real work is not done. All of the Abrahamic religions tell us the same thing: use the strength, intelligence, and wealth God gave you to take care of the poor. Are we doing enough? What more can we do? How can we do it? I admire those who can organize. I hope I can improve in this area. May God strengthen us all that we may run a good race to outdo each other doing good works.
    Salaam!

  57. Pingback: Marahm

  58. Solange

    The sane of the world note that name calling is only permitted if a Muslim does it.

  59. Viana

    @Marahm

    Women work because it is good thing for both them and society. It is their right as human beings to use their talents and skills instead of wasting these being house slaves. Women who stay at home have their brains turn to mush as their behinds get bigger. While it is important for either mother or father to be with a child under the age of two, thereafter that child should be in pre-school learning and being properly socialized, so that the child will be ready for kindergarten. It is a fact that isolated children display more aggressiveness. Few stay at home parents can provide a proper learning environment for children.

    The claim that women have “depressed salaries” is not true. Salaries are depressed because of outsourcing to the third world. It does not take two salaries to support a family. It is a matter of choice as to how people want to live. If you want more “stuff” you need to have a higher income. Not everyone has maids, drivers and gardeners like the fantasy-wealthy “Lady.”😉

    Some of the things that people, especially men say here about the “natural order” of things when it comes to men and women are really funny. Most women are perfectly capable of carrying packages and doing work in both the home and the workplace. It appears that Saudi women have been forced to be lazy.

    • A homemaker is not a house slave, and a woman who prefers to dedicate herself to the domestic arts does not let her brain “turn to mush”. On the contrary — when she is not tethered to the paths between home and work, she is free to explore all kinds of ideas and activities. When she is not operating on auto-pilot, constantly switching between duties at home and duties at work, she can afford to exercise her brain (and body) rather than confine it to a maze.

      I wonder what kind of care you had while growing up, to have formed such a low opinion of the vocation of homemaking. I wonder where and how you live, to have not seen that (at least in some countries) two salaries are absolutely necessary if a family is to live in even a modest, middle-class neighborhood.

      Of course, women are perfectly capable of doing work in both and workplace, and so are men, but how many men to you see changing diapers before they get dressed for work in the morning? The “natural order of things” is a fact of life, whether you like it or not.

      I think your comment might be applicable to certain Saudi women, who have maids and nannies and therefore have no duties either inside or outside the home. These women should probably work outside, or else get rid of the household help and work at home. There’s nothing wrong with women working but there’s everything wrong with women having to work at two full-time jobs while their husbands work at just one. That’s slavery.

  60. Viana

    The claim about the “natural order of things” is so much unscientific myth. Women throughout history have always had to bear children and they have always worked in agriculture, in shops, in factories and offices. Only in the twentieth century did being a housewife become the “norm.” Western women were in the workplace and loved their jobs during both wars. When the men returned they were deprived of their rightful places. Therefore, women began to fight for their rights and got them. Today most western women work and not because it takes two paychecks. It’s because work is a matter of self worth. Keeping house is hardly something special. I have met very few housewives in my life who have done anything of consequence or have contributed much of value to society. Homemaking is not a vocation! It is something that we all have to do like bathing and brushing one’s teeth.

    I was raised by women who were excellent examples of what women can and should accomplish. My grandmother, mother and other female relatives were highly educated, had careers, had husbands, children and still kept beautiful homes. They cleaned, gardened, sewed, cooked, baked and did all of the things that loving wives and mothers do, while being productive contributors in society. Their children both male and female went on to do the same, have both genders careers and a families without any problem whatsoever.

    Women only have to do “two full-time jobs” if they are foolish enough to let their men get away with only “helping” rather than sharing the whole load. I know plenty of highly educated men in Europe and N. America who not only change diapers, they also cook, wash, clean, repair, paint and help the children with their homework. A number of these men are “house-husbands” or they have lesser jobs than the wife, he a teacher or construction manager, she a scientist or corporate executive. These men have dinner on the table, the kids washed and their homework done, when their high-powered, executive wives come home. Win/win!

    In the third world it is women who quite literally do most, if not all of the work while their men hang around on street corners. In falsely wealthy countries like KSA with its restrictions on women, those who can use servants/slaves and appear to only live for themselves, going shopping, to the beauty parlor, to parties as that “Lady” poster has gleefully indicated. They don’t seem to move their persons for much of anything aside from shoveling food into their mouths.

    Most modern men in developed nations want and expect their wives to have careers, because they do not feel it is fair for the whole support of the family to fall on their shoulders. Men would also like to come home to a non-neurotic woman who can discuss something besides diapers, runny noses, yoga or the country club gossip.

    Some women can’t handle both a career and a family; neither can some men. Women who are nothing but housewives show their children that this is the only thing that women are good for, drudge work and producing children, like in KSA. Once a child is of school age there is very little reason for a woman not to have a productive career and give back to society. In the U. S. women often return to university and continue or start careers once their children are in school or off to university. Many a mother has gone to classes with their offspring. Chelsea Clinton made a speech about how her mother was her “hero” during the presidential campaigns. The world is full of females running businesses and having families.

    A brain and talent are terrible things to waste!

    What will these domestic drudges tell their God when asked, “What did you do with the talents and brains that I gave to you?” Saying, “I produced children by the dozen,” is probably not a good response.

    The world needs al of its human resources, not just those of men, who have not done the best job. When women have parity the world might become a better place.

    • Viana, the length, tone, and passion of your comment indicates that you are really perturbed by women who do not measure up to the stellar standard of the environment from which you have emerged.

      Those of you women who have the brains, energy, passion, ambition, and men who share fifty-fifty, should, indeed, be free to develop yourselves to capacity in both the world of work and the affairs of the home.

      Please don’t expect the rest of us to emulate an example we cannot or do not want to achieve. You don’t seem to suffer from any limitations in any sphere of life, therefore you seem insensitive to or unaware of the difficulties that most women face in trying to do good jobs and both major spheres of life–work and home.

      Consider yourself blessed, and the next time you meet a fat, lazy housewife, remember that, “There but for the grace of God go I…”

  61. SmurfBurkan

    I think that most Muslims forget that Islam is alway coloured by the cultural glasses you wear. I do not belittle our scholars, but even they are not free from this. This means that when you read that Ibn Uthaymeen said it was haram for women to eat in public… you don’t need to accept that, because it goes against logic that women would be prohibited from that when no shari’ evidence can support it and when the praxis during Muhammads time seems to contradict that statement.
    But since Saudi Arabia is an ultra-pathriarcal-women opressing-society you can’t expect that much if scholars and the “common people” alike can’t realize this fact, i.e that your perception of what is “modest” and “pious” depends on what kind of society you live in. Of course, Islam gives you guidelines and they are pretty clear. But in Saudi it would be (from what I´ve seen) unthinkable for a male neighbour to visit his female neighbour to ask how she is and if she needs anything. But in other societies this is acceptable and there is nothing wrong with this in our shariah since this was practiced during Muhammad’s time.
    One thing I noticed, that Saudi is not the same as it was 1400 years ago, for good and bad, but Muslims can’t understand this so they think that the ultimate Islamic society is Saudi depsite the fact that they legislate agains shariah, especially when it comes to (lack of) women’s rights….

  62. H RAJPUT

    AOA,

    First of all Happy Ramazan and wishing Eid in advance, as it is my first scrap/reply,

    i am sure Male are allowed (just kidding),

    I think we have a solution for this Maulana, instead of bagging and beating the bushes he should influence the Govt to provide means to Muslim ladies so they can stay at home and live a good life with their families ,

    I am sure our history is full of these riches and not limited to Muslim from Arabian communities but where we had Islamic Govt|khilafa,

    History Bit

    Ibn Aljawzi reported in his book about the lifetime of Omar Ibn Abdulaziz that Omar asked his governors throughout the State for the counts of all blind people, those with chronic diseases, and the disabled. He then assigned a guide for every blind person and two servants for every chronically ill or disabled person throughout the whole Islamic State that spanned from China in the east to Morocco in the west, and Russia in the north to the Indian ocean in the south. The well being and prosperity of the people under the Islamic rule was such that during the khilafah of Omar Ibn Abdulaziz, the State could not find poor people to pay the zakat money to.

    I am not against the women doing their business if they want they should be allowed, I hope this maulana wont issue fatawa on this as well.

    another solution

    I have heard that one Maulana (4rm Pakistan has gone to Israel) was in undercover delegation (visited Israel) to push Pakistan to recognise Israel, so this Saudi Maulana should use his influence to stop him/his party as Saudi relegious Maulanas enjoys good influence on Pak Maulanas. This might keep him away for issuing these fatwas at-least for some time.

    take care

    Salaam

  63. Nurul Shahirah

    I do agree with some of the points made for and against employment of women in HyperPanda.
    For: If the jobs are going to be taken by non-resident and women are selling on the roadside anyway, why not employ women with proper dress code and place them in cash registers for women ONLY to check-out especially when its for widows and orphans in need of cash ?
    Against: Women working as cashiers could lead to potential harassment by men whether sexual or emotional.Women to me are very precious beings who are easily affected by statements or criticism made by men (however much you deny). Plus, why not start at lingerie shops or women’s retail outlets? And ultimately, why doesn’t she have any male relatives supporting her?
    Its not true to say that its normal to intermingle. Most men and women CANNOT control themselves. The reason why adultery,illegal sexual intercourse,rape are widespread. Men cheating on their wives at workplace or clubs likewise for women. Men having sexual thoughts of other women walking by even if his wife’s next to him.
    I’m a woman,married, have lived in Singapore (Americanized) all my life and lived in Australia for a year. I have experienced western culture, asian culture and Islamic culture. And I’m for the latter.I feel more free. Its hard to explain.

  64. Waheeda

    I am so glad that I am not at my home now. I am afraid for what is happening. Now in Egypt the women will be hidden and kept back.

  65. Well, Sheikh Al-Ahmad has been thrown into jail, for challenging tha uthrities. So much so for the “change” in the society. Eman, would you be bold enough to write a piece calling for the release of somebody imprisoned for voicing their opinions, or perhaps you are content with voicing your support for the new direction your government has taken:

    • If he was imprisoned just for voicing his opinion, I do call for his release. The only thing is that I can’t write a blog post on it because I don’t have all the information and when I checked around it turned out that there is a lot of talk and reasons why he is in prison and it’s not because of anything he wrote or said. Usually in these cases I write anyway but in his case you can tell from his video, especially the second part on women wearing jeans and Shia, that he has a lot of hate towards anyone who does not agree with him. If he can’t restrain that hate for a few minutes, then maybe he has acted on it. i was the first to report his case on Twitter. But a whole blog post needs more clear and reliable information which no one has at the moment. I just want my country to be a prosperous place where everyone can live in peace.

      • Thank you for the reply, Eman. I appreciate your sentiment of ” just wanting my country to be a prosperous place where everyone can live in peace.” I have lived as a Muslim expat in your country for a number of years, and I would like to offer that there are a number of areas where a lot of progress is needed, but liberals like yourself dont concern themselves with them. Its not only the conservatives, even the liberals are fixated only on women issues. Shaikh Al-Ahmed was probably imprisoned for criticizing his government’s policy of imprisonment without trial:

        Could you at least commend him for his bravery in broaching a taboo subject, which by the way shows he is less focused on feminism than you are. Similarly, expats – particularly Asians – are treated like animals, and the mistreatment is institutionalized in the kafeel system. Look at the way maids are treated here. Care to write about that? So far, I have only seen another conservative hint at it:

      • First of all, who says I’m liberal? I don’t think of myself as such. I’m a moderate and probably would be classified right wing in any other country. There’s nothing wrong with writing about feminism, especially since I’m a Saudi woman living under a system which treats me like a minor forever. Even though I do write about a lot of other things and what I write and don’t write is my decision, not yours.
        Second, you say conservatives are concerned about the kafeel system. I’m assuming since you classify Al Ahmed as conservative, you mean muttawa. And that’s really far from the truth. it’s actually the liberals who are fighting to absolve the kafeel system and instate fair labor laws and minimum wage.
        Third I have commended Al Ahmed for his bravery but you have to be careful with people like him. if you listen carefully to the second part, he’s basically throwing around accusations about his fellow citizens, that they are Iranian and Western agents who shod be imprisoned just because they don’t agree with his muttawa viewpoint. There’s also another video he made a few months back that he was upset that money was being allocating for exercise and sport areas in the all women Nora university campus. And that women shld not be allowed to apply for scholarships nor work as cashiers. I believe in his right to speak his views and he should not be imprisoned for that. but I am not going to back anything except his right to free speech because it would be stupid to back someone who only believes in the rights of people who agree with his very narrow version of Islam. Of course, since you are obviously a fan of his, you do know that he led a campaign during the 2011 Riyadh book fair to ban books and lectures by fellow Saudis just because he doesn’t agree with them. So the right of free speech is something that he is definitely against.

    • mohammad

      sorry tajzia, but this man should be condemned. while he is challenging the authority to grant fair and just treatment of prisoners, he is personally suppressing the women of his country right to self determination by issuing anti feminist statements and supports and an ideology that draws power from oppressing women. what im trying to say is any idea or man that gains influence through oppressive propaganda should be condemned. unfortunately, this relation between the authority and the oppressed shaped many of our social institution that normalize exploitation. the best example of this would be the labor laws in saudi

      • @Eman: Well, of course it is your blog. I have my own blog to air my view – under the threat of arrest if I were in your country since I do not subscribe to the current state policy. In fact I would probably write a post there on what I disagree with you on, but I thought you wouldn’t mind a bit of criticism. About his accusations of foreign agents, isn’t it what your government suspects too, according to wikileaks, including the old man? Also, his comments about Shia are hardly abnormal in your country. They come from the highest religious authorities (i.e. starting from those who ARE allowed to give fatwa by His Majesty, i.e. the Fatwa Committee). They are officially considered as heretics, since as far back as any sheikh you can imagine (and similarly the Iranians consider sunnis as equal heretics with their great Mullah calling the gulf rulers atheist quite recently). So, two pennies for your thoughts that he may have been imprisoned for his Shia comments (which are NOT officially looked down upon). And what’s so terribly wrong with him accusing some of his compatriots? I mean the liberals call conservatives all sort of names like extremists, backward, “wanting to bring in Taliban style government” (which too is a foreign power). Should they too be imprisoned (without trial)? I find it assuming that you had to say “If he can’t restrain that hate for a few minutes, then maybe he has acted on it.” I thought guilt had to be proven, not assumed

  66. R Gade

    @Saudiwoman

    You are of course entitled to your criticism of Al-Ahmed, but the issue here is not one of whether we agree with him or not. It is far wider.

    You mentioned his anti-Shia stance and his being opposed to women cashiers. Now, I know that it cannot be unknown to a well-educated woman such as yourself that he is not the only one with such views.

    If you don’t understand my point, then please take a look at the fatwas of your current Grand Mufti (or any of his predecessors). Are you of the view that he also should be imprisoned for daring to have such a view?

    To the outsider, it seems a tad hypocritical that people like Al-Ahmed are labelled as extremists when a cursory reading of your nations history shows that he is probably far more mainstream than most – and especially more that English-speaking Western-educated women who think that being able to drive a car and take foreign trips alone are the two major issues in Saudi Arabia right now.

    And before you label me as a ‘mutawwa’ too, please note that I am a born and bred Brit.

    • I resent your tone and I do not think that these are the only issues. I have never said that Al Ahmed should be imprisoned for his views. I support his right to free speech even though he doesn’t support mine. I hope that’s plain enough English for you to understand.
      Since you are a “born and bred Brit” how would you know what my people want or believe in. I am not Western educated unless you count a few elementary years and one in the UK. I was born in Saudi and have lived here most of my life, as have my ancestors for centuries. Al Ahmed is not mainstream, he has his following which by the way are declining. Mainstream are moderates like Shiekh Salman Al Odah and Turki Al Dakhil, who both have a lot more in common with me than they do with Al Ahmed.

      • R Gade

        “Since you are a “born and bred Brit” how would you know what my people want or believe in.”

        With all due respect, what your people want or believe in is not my concern.

        I am merely pointing out that your country was formed by an alliance between two families, and that this alliance has endured. The current King and Grand Mufti are direct descendents of the founders.
        The current Grand Mufti is on record as being anti-Shia and against women working as cashiers.

        Thus, my contention is that Al-Ahmeds views on the Shia and women working as cashiers are hardly unique and that if he has indeed been imprisoned because of this, then it seems a tad unfair.

        Now, yes I am a foreigner, but in most of the civilised world, people are judged by what they say and not where they come from. I invite you to answer the following question in that spirit: Can you please point out to me where in my post I have misunderstood your country or its political/religious establishment?

      • “Now, yes I am a foreigner, but in most of the civilised world, people are judged by what they say and not where they come from.”
        I did not judge you, you judged me. and here’s a reminder with judgement parts in bold:
        “To the outsider, it seems a tad hypocritical that people like Al-Ahmed are labelled as extremists when a cursory reading of your nations history shows that he is probably far more mainstream than most – and especially more that English-speaking Western-educated women who think that being able to drive a car and take foreign trips alone are the two major issues in Saudi Arabia right now.”
        And I merely emphasized your point that you are a “born and bred Brit” since you assume that you know and understand my country better than I do. And in most civilized discussions people respect each other and not resort to an insulting tone merely because the other party does not share their view.
        And as you requested even though I’ve already addressed that in my first reply: You misunderstand my country when you wrote ” Al-Ahmed are labelled as extremists when a cursory reading of your nations history shows that he is probably far more mainstream than most” Alahmed, I repeat is not mainstream. If you check his following on social media, his book sales and just plain old popularity, you will find that only fringe ultra-conservatives actually listen and read him. There was such a huge uproar within Saudi society and media when his name was found on the list of authors on religious public school books that they books were recalled and republished with his name omitted. That is not an indicator of a mainstream popular man.
        Countries are a lot more complex than a simple “cursory reading” of their history. And the Grand Mufti, remains a man appointed by the government not by the people.

      • R Gade

        “Mainstream are moderates like Shiekh Salman Al Odah…”

        Yes. I will leave it to those reading to google his name and judge for themselves if this man is a moderate or not.

        “And I merely emphasized your point that you are a “born and bred Brit” since you assume that you know and understand my country better than I do.”

        I never said I understand your country better than you do. I simply pointed out the fact that it is not only Al-Ahmed who says that women should not work as cashiers. There is a fatwa by the council of senior scholars, headed by the Grand Mufti himself, that states exactly the same thing. I am not claiming I know (or want to know) your country better than you do, but why are you in denial about this simple fact?

        Secondly, it is not, as you seem to have suggested, a simple case of an unpopular Grand Mufti being appointed by mistake. If I am wrong, then please point me in the direction of a single Grand Mufti in the history of your nation that was sympathetic to the Shia, or to Jews and Christians?

        If you fail to do so, then I maintain by assertion that Al-Ahmeds views on the Shia and women cashiers are not unique to him and that he has support – and in high places – for such views.

      • for someone who is not concerned about my country, you are spending way too much time expressing your disagreement with a citizen of that very same country on its internal affairs. Shiekh Salman Al Odah went through a transition and he has changed all of his pre-prison views. There never has been a Grand Mufti who was appointed by the people, that’s the way it is in an absolute monarchy. Popularity is not what gets a Grand Mufti appointed.
        “If you fail to do so, then I maintain by assertion that Al-Ahmeds views on the Shia and women cashiers are not unique to him and that he has support – and in high places – for such views.”
        I gave you an example of just how unpopular he is with the religious school book incident that happened at the beginning of the 2010/2011 school year. And him being in prison is not a big sign that “he has support – and in high places – for such views”. I state facts, you state “cursory reading”.

      • R Gade

        “For someone who is not concerned about my country, you are spending way too much time expressing your disagreement with a citizen of that very same country on its internal affairs.”

        I see. So not only are you an authority on moderate Islam, but you are also dictating to me what I should or should not spend my time expressing.

        “Shiekh Salman Al Odah went through a transition and he has changed all of his pre-prison views.”

        I think the road to Damascus (or should I say, Riyadh) is getting a bit packed these days. Has he changed his opinion on Israel? Iraq? Jews and Christians? Again, I will leave the readers to google the answers for themselves.

        “There never has been a Grand Mufti who was appointed by the people, that’s the way it is in an absolute monarchy. Popularity is not what gets a Grand Mufti appointed.”

        That was not my question. My question (again) was, can you name me a single one of these Muftis whose views on women, Jews, Christians, gays and other hot topics varied wildly with those of Al-Ahmed? My point is that Al-Ahmed is my no means a rogue or a maverick.

        “I gave you an example of just how unpopular he is with the religious school book incident that happened at the beginning of the 2010/2011 school year.”

        Well, in that case, Al-Odah should be all the more unpopular for supporting Hosni Mubarak and Ben-Ali, should he not? But that is not my point. You know very well that I am not here advocating Al-Ahmed’s views. My point is that his views and that of the Wahhabi religious (and political) establishment are very very similar; something that you cannot seem to accept.

        And by the way, would would you care to tell us what your ever-so-tolerant boys are in a certain neighbouring island? Rescuing cats stuck in trees, no doubt.

      • I did not dictate. You twice wrote that you are not concerned with my country and then spent all this time dictating to me about what’s going on. I merely pointed that out. Can you say contradiction?
        Shiekh Al Odah did not support Ben Ali nor Hosni Mubark. Quite the opposite, he lost his extremely popular show on MBC for supporting the Tunisian and Egyptian people and warning our government that the same may happen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGCBOhKXyUU

        “That was not my question. My question (again) was, can you name me a single one of these Muftis whose views on women, Jews, Christians, gays and other hot topics varied wildly with those of Al-Ahmed? My point is that Al-Ahmed is my no means a rogue or a maverick.”

        you change your point with every reply, your original issue about Al Ahmed was that he was “mainstream” I’ve already addressed that. He is not. Grand Muftis are generally silent and barely issue a fatwa every once in awhile. I cannot recall any instant where the Official Commission for Fatwa headed by the Grand Mufti issued a statement about Shia, Jews or Christians.

        ” My point is that his views and that of the Wahhabi religious (and political) establishment are very very similar; something that you cannot seem to accept. And by the way, would would you care to tell us what your ever-so-tolerant boys are in a certain neighbouring island? Rescuing cats stuck in trees, no doubt.”

        Again, this is an absolute monarchy and I as a citizen have no say in what the political establishment’s views are but obviously since the Education ministry did take his name off our public school books and later imprison him, it would be fair to say that AlAhmed’s views and the political establishment’s are not the same. About Bahrain, same thing, I cannot tell you what they are doing there since again I am a citizen of a monarchy.

      • R Gade

        “I did not dictate. You twice wrote that you are not concerned with my country and then spent all this time dictating to me about what’s going on. I merely pointed that out. Can you say contradiction?”

        I am not dictating to you about what is going on, I am simply asking you are very simple question that you keep on refusing to answer.

        Did or did not your silent Grand Mufti who only gives a fatwa once in a while recently sign a fatwa saying that it is forbidden for women to work as cashiers?

        If the answer is no, then I agree that Al-Ahmed was a lone voice against this and that he is an extremist. If the answer is yes, then I wonder why you are on a crusade against him when he is not the only one with such an opinion?

        “I cannot recall any instant where the Official Commission for Fatwa headed by the Grand Mufti issued a statement about Shia, Jews or Christians.”

        Well, it’s a good thing that reality has nothing to do with your own recollections.

        Here are two comments from a former Grand Mufti:

        “According to the Koran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of Muslims it is a requirement of the Muslims to be hostile to the Jews and the Christians and other mushrikun [polytheists], ”

        “”With absolute clarity that there is a religious requirement to despise the infidel Jews and Christians and other mushrikun.”

        Here is the link: http://www.mypracticalphilosophy.com/jihadpages/differences.htm

        And for many more, you may refer to the http://www.islamqa.com website.

        “Again, this is an absolute monarchy and I as a citizen have no say in what the political establishment’s views are but obviously since the Education ministry did take his name off our public school books and later imprison him, it would be fair to say that AlAhmed’s views and the political establishment’s are not the same.”

        In terms of that text book, then yes, but to extrapolate from that and make out that all his views, those on women working as cashiers (which YOU brought up, let’s not forget) and his views towards women, non Muslims, Shia and others are no different from the ‘official line.’

        Yes, I may be an outsider, but it seems that you do not know your own religious establishment as well as you should.

      • Referencing an anti-Islamic website on what the Grand Mufti says is not what I would call a source. And definitely worse than not referencing at all since it shows that you are not objective.
        And yes they did issue a fatwa that I actually blogged about, but one fatwa does not mean that they and AlAhmed are in agreement. In fact you can find fatwas in common between two extremely different sects like Shias and Sunnis. That does not mean that suddenly they’ve decided to merge.
        Whether or not I have an understanding of my religious establishment can be questioned but it is plainly clear that my understanding is much better than yours. As you seem to have a one dimensional view while what is going on is that there are diverse schools of thought within the religious establishment and even within the Fatwa Commission as has been shown in the past couple of weeks with two members coming out with statements on the same issue, the first stating that banning women from driving is not based on Islam but nevertheless as dangerous as allowing gun ownership and the second advocating lifting the ban on women driving. Both these men as members are contenders for the Grand Mufti position.
        Finally when have I ever went on a “crusade” against anyone? I simply reported what he said and then stated my position on the very same topic. Even though I disagree with the majority of what Al Ahmed put forward and even though he does not support free speech nor my rights as a woman, I still support his right to free speech and his civil rights and I do commend him for his bravery regarding the political prisoners issue. How is that a crusade against him?

      • R Gade

        “Referencing an anti-Islamic website on what the Grand Mufti says is not what I would call a source. And definitely worse than not referencing at all since it shows that you are not objective.”

        These were verbatim quotes of ex-mufti Shaykh Ibn Baz. You can label it as anti-Islamic or whatever, but the fact is that he is on record many many times as saying that Jews and Christians are unbelievers and that it is an obligation to have enmity towards them. Anyone can go and see http://www.islamqa.com for a whole host of such fatwas. If you think that he and the other Muftis did not hold such views then you are living in cloud-cuckoo land.

        “Yes they did issue a fatwa that I actually blogged about, but one fatwa does not mean that they and AlAhmed are in agreement. In fact you can find fatwas in common between two extremely different sects like Shias and Sunnis. That does not mean that suddenly they’ve decided to merge.
        Whether or not I have an understanding of my religious establishment can be questioned but it is plainly clear that my understanding is much better than yours.”

        Oh yeah? How about this then:

        http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article449665.ece

        The last line of which reads: “Last year, the committee issued a similar edict banning women from working as cashiers at supermarkets.”

        And as for your final question:

        “How is that a crusade against him?”

        The answer is that this whole post of yours began with you lambasting him about his women cashier fatwa. Now, you claim to know more than me about your scholars; if that is true (which I have no doubt it is) then you are suffering from a serious case of denial regarding their fatwa about women cashiers.

        I re-iterate by point that Al-Ahmeds views on Jews, Christians, women cashiers and a whole host of other issues are exactly the same as those of the Wahhabi establishment.

        Your crusade is no different to many other like-minded people. Whether it is to pick out an insignificant cleric while leaving alone the big boys, or not paying workers from South Asia, or taking out frustration on the maid, it is a manifestation of cowardice and barbarity that has no equal in the civilised world.

      • Shiekh Bin Baz has passed away over a decade ago. He also said the world is flat, does that lead you to the conclusion that all “mainstream” shiekhs and Saudis share that view?
        I did not lambaste his person, just his position, just as I did when the “big boys” issued their anti women cashiers fatwa https://saudiwoman.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/another-day-another-misogynist-fatwa/ . And that last paragraph of yours is offensive and a reflection of your own hate and intolerance. If you had a civilized bone in your body you would apologize for those unfounded and intolerant accusations.

    • mohammad

      him thrown in prison has nothing to do with him being an extremist. he in prison because he spoke against the government. when his extremist ideas were targeting women, government didn’t pay much attention to him. but when his extremist ideas spreads to government matters, then he is persecuted. but you bring up a good point, it is ironical that we saudis cant see this, that there are many celebrated “extremist” who had even harsher and more backward views than Al Ahmad, but they were on the right side!

  67. Interesting that a scholar is fringe if the *Government* chucks off his name from textbooks, but mainstream if he is allowed to appear in talk shows and newspaper columns by Govt (or ruling family) owned media!

    • mohammad

      one must know that this is the case with all government. this being said the worst government record for controlling mass opinion is that of the USA ( which is suppose to be ” a free society”)

  68. @SaudiWoman.

    Shaikh Bin Baaz did not believe the Earth to be round. In fact, he said that Muslims scholars from the ancient times (when the West was still in the Dark Ages) are in consensus that it is round. Please see:
    http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/8640
    In fact, it was Shaikh Al-‘Awdah who defended him against this lie:
    http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showthread.php?t=440
    It is disgusting that you had to stoop down to character assassination of a dead man, which shows you know little about at least the mainstream scholars of your country. But perhaps bin baaz was a bit fringe for you.

    • character assassination? Because I reported something he stated? It was widely reported. In fact that very statement you linked to, in it he states that the person who reported his belief that the world is flat misunderstood. That his belief is that a man landing on the moon is the issue he has. According to the statement that you posted, he says we should not believe or disbelieve the report until Muslim scientists look into it. And that the two things that he is absolutely sure of is that the Earth does not rotate on its axis and that the Sun moves around the Earth. check the last paragraph for yourself.
      I’m getting tired of your obvious “revert” propaganda and misconceptions. Islam does not have saints or priests. Every Muslim has a direct relationship with God, no mediators. And the only thing that is binding is the Quran and then the Sunna. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Baz is Bin Baz’s own son and yet he openly and publicly disagrees with some of his father’s fatwas. disagreement in Islam does not mean disrespect and as Abdullah bin Abass said: “Everyone’s say can be accepted or rejected except this man’s”, pointing to the Prophet’s PBUH grave. (my translation)

      • I am not saying he is infallible. You attributed something to him which had firstly no relation to the discussion, and second, is incorrect. He said:
        كما أني قد أثبت في المقال فيما نقلته عن العلامة ابن القيم رحمه الله ما يدل على إثبات كروية الأرض

        Its your right to disagree, but you are still beating about the bush that Al-Ahmad’s views on Jews, Christians, women etc. aren’t exactly fringe. That his son disagrees with his father does not make the latter fringe and the former mainstream.

      • I am not beating about any bush. Al Ahmed is the extreme of a spectrum of several religious schools and a fringe of them rather than mainstream. However like most ultra-conservatives all over the world, they are very loud despite their small group. Extreme beliefs against other religions and against women is no longer the mainstream. people like shiekh Salman Al Odah and writers like Turki Al Dakheel and Khalif Al Harbi have a much much bigger following among Saudis. these three advocate both tolerance and women rights. As we are not a democracy and the grand mufti position is appointed, all we can reliably measure mainstream is by the popularity and following of the thinkers, writers and speakers and as such I can tell you as I’ve written repeatedly here since yesterday, that this mainstream and popularity belongs to people who differ a lot from AlAhmed’s school of thought.

  69. @Eman. Thankyou for your reply once again. I think we will have to agree to disagree with your inconsistent classification of some people as fringe and others mainstream.
    Moving on, since you are not a democracy and everything is stage-managed by the government (which they are in democracies as well anyway), how do you measure popularity of one school/individual with respect to another, in the absence of any reliable polls. I too have lived in the kingdom, and did not find the views espoused by you or your “heros” very popular.

    If you are measuring by twitter/facebook following, then that is hardly anything to go by. Right now Musharraf is the most popular Pakistani on facebook, but most Pakistani (I am one) truly hate him, and he knows it and that’s why he fled.

  70. Di Wang

    Jesus is the atonement for sins of mankind.

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